4th June 2011 at 13:38 #554136
Anonymous4th June 2011 at 13:38 #554137
I flew in FIRST between SIN and SYD in their 777 which had the ‘new’ First configuration.
Checking in in SIN is a complete pain for First passengers because a separate so called ‘Premium Check in’ Area is located in area 4 and both FIRST and Business passengers share the same queue.
The so called BA FIRST lounge in SIN is very large, the reason being that BA want to be able to accommodate their Gold card holders (and also possibly the equivalent level for Quantas) so this lounge was really a business class lounge which afforded no privacy or exclusivity to FIRST passengers. The food and wind offering was very average. Hence I concluded that the FIRST experience with BA only starts on entering the plane.
In SIN there is a separate airbridge to the first cabin which improved matters.
The Seating is adequate and the mood in the cabin was fine.
However, having recently travelled on a number of EMIRATES flights in their First cabin (A380 and 777 ER incl private suites) I was shocked as to how far BA has fallen behind their competitors on these routes.
I hoped that the ‘traditional’ BA high service levels would rebalance the products but unfortunately this was not the case. I remarked to the Purser towards the end of the flight that perhaps their ‘B’ team had operated the service today. He seemed to agree. The service was slow and also very formalised and distant (Being called ‘Sir’ at the end of every sentence is a great way for staff to keep a barrier between you and them but does nothing to make a passenger fell at home). I hoped that BA get their most dynamic and responsive staff to work in the First Cabin but this does not seem to be the case. I have had some great conversations in recent flights with some of Emirates First crew (even chatting about the peculiar aspects of spin bowling) and this is what attracts me back to their flights, together with the scale and quality of their product.
The BA IFE was again just about average but is paltry compared to Emirates 1,000 channels of music and film entertainment.
The flight was on time and embarkation / baggage was fine.
Many people comment that the understated aspect of the new BA First product when combined with the quality of the Cabin crew creates a strong product offering ought to give Emirates a go on these routes.
Comparing to the competition, the new BA FIRST cabin is an also ran even before it is fully rolled out.
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